After going through addiction and coming out on the other side victorious, it seems like an individual would be thrilled and eager to take on any more challenges addiction throws their way. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. Research indicates that shame and guilt are two very common feelings that plague those that are in recovery. This can be due, in large part, to the things that were done in the name of drugs (both illegal and unsavory activities), or the person one became while they were using. The first step to loving yourself again after battling addiction is to realize that addiction is, in fact, a disease. If you had a cold or the flu, you would not blame yourself for sneezing or coughing. You would not blame yourself for having a fever, or being too weak to get out of bed. You would not even blame yourself for not wanting to eat anything. Likewise, there is no reason to blame yourself for doing things you are not proud of while you were sick with addiction. That person was in no way the authentic you, and as such, cannot define even an iota of your character or who you are. It is also important to separate that same past of addiction from the person you are now. Just as one bad play does not define an athlete, one bad test does not define a student, a mistake does not define the person you fundamentally are. Understanding that your past is just that, and has nothing to do with the person you are now, will allow you to look at yourself as an individual with a fresh slate. To assuage some of the guilt you may be feeling, studies indicate that you should also make an effort to make things right with the people you may have hurt while you were going through addiction. Try to write down a list of some of the things you may have done while struggling with addiction, and who they may have affected. Do not assume that if someone did not explicitly mention they were hurt, they weren’t. Make sure you include those that you may have hurt that never mentioned it to you. Then, apologize. Even if the people on your list are not able to accept your apology or forgive you for your wrongdoing, your conscience will thank you for taking the steps to fix things. Planning for what comes next is a huge way to love yourself again as well. Setting goals for the progress you would like to see in yourself over the next several days, months, and even years gives you something to look forward to, and reaffirms, everyday, that you have so much to live for, and to prove to yourself and the world!
It’s hard to love yourself when a substance is in control. If you’re suffering from addiction, help from Oceanfront Recovery of California is just a phone call away. Call us at (877)279-1777 today!